The latest challenge craze doesn’t have you pouring an ice bucket over your head or learning a viral TikTok dance. The David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge simply suggests you go sit quietly in nature—specifically someplace wooded.
It started when famed broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough was a guest on the World Wildlife Fund podcast, Call of the Wild. A vocal supporter of environmental causes, Attenborough was asked if he had any tips on how people could make a difference. He had a simple answer.
How the David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge Came to Be
“Just stop,” the 94-year-old says. “Sit down. Don’t move. Keep quiet. Wait…10 minutes. I’d be very surprised if something pretty interesting didn’t happen in those 10 minutes. Doing that in a woodland, if you haven’t done it, it’s extraordinary. Don’t get too impatient, either.”
Of course, when a beloved media personality (at least 20 animal species have been named after him) tells you something extraordinary will happen if you sit in the woods, people listen. And whether they’ve been hearing woodpeckers drumming or feeling the bark on trees, people have been accepting the challenge.
Now, Attenborough didn’t frame his advice as a challenge, but we took it as such. There’s something meditative in the exercise, but you’re not focusing on yourself as much as what’s going on around you. At first, you may notice the sound of a truck that seems to be slowly backing up for eternity and a day, but as the minutes go by, you begin to notice the smaller stuff—like the fresh smell of winter soil or a crow stirring up a commotion. By being present in the natural world, you connect with it, which seems to have been Attenborough’s cunning plan all along.
It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary experience; nature acts as a natural salve to calm frayed nerves regardless. So we’re encouraging you to take the David Attenborough 10-Minute Challenge. We bet it’ll be the highlight of your day.
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